Yap State’s two private high schools have announced an innovative new program to serve students with an interest in math and computers.
The schools, Yap SDA and Yap Catholic, are each establishing robotics teams for their pupils. These student teams, with support from teachers and other school staffers, will design, build and operate basic robots. The long-term goal is for each school to create a robot capable of completing a basic obstacle course at a public demonstration.
Both teams have been equipped with classroom robotics kits from Vex Robotics, an American firm that creates the components for elementary and high school level robots. The Habele Outer Island Education Fund donated the kits along with teacher guides and the equipment required for using desktop computer to program the robots.
Another charity, the Yap-based “Wagey” is providing the schools with on-the-ground support as they assemble the kits and organize their teams. Wagey will work as a link between the two schools on Yap and a robotics team at a high school in the United States who’ve offered to provide technical advice and problem solving.
“This project robot is really interesting," said Kalahao Fillmed, a student at the SDA School who plans to participate in the project. “It’s gonna be fun!”
Habele purchased the kits in late October and they reached Yap in mid-November.
The donation marks a significant expansion for Habele. The group is better known in Micronesia for its annual K-12 tuition scholarships, a program to help low-income families send their children to non-public schools. Habele has been providing those scholarships and donating materials to public schools and libraries since 2006.